Posted inFilm

I Am a Sex Addict

Through a series of intertwined frank confessions from a cross section of eight American and English subjects, this feature documentary made for the BBC by Vikram Jayanti and John Powers explores the phenomenon of the pleasure principle running amok. With a mixture of narcissism, cynicism, and sadness, each of these self-proclaimed sex addicts recounts past […]

Posted inMusic

Critic’s Choice/ music

KENT KESSLER/GENE COLEMAN Some of Chicago’s finest improvisers, like bassist Kent Kessler and bass clarinetist Gene Coleman, rarely get the opportunity to step out on their own and play solo. In fact it’s unusual to hear unaccompanied music these days–players and venues seem more interested in exploring ensemble interplay than the univocal statement. But solo […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Junkie of Lincoln Park

THE JUNKIE OF LINCOLN PARK, Beatnik Theatre, at Cafe Voltaire. Hand-me-down inspirations are like hand-me-down clothes: they might fit here and there, but they’re always unmistakably somebody else’s. Patrick Ney’s The Junkie of Lincoln Park has the same real estate jargon, cynical sales personnel, and career-threatening contest as its obvious prototype, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Tarnished Assyrians

Dear editor: In reference to “Fanning the Flames” (October 18) by Grant Pick, I wish to make it clear that the quote attributed to me is inaccurate. It reads: “If you’re an Assyrian, you can suddenly be taken from your house, arrested, and tortured for no reason.” This is not what I said. I tried […]

Posted inArts & Culture

K

K., Neo-Futurists. Dramatizing The Trial, director-adaptor Greg Allen is up against some pretty stiff competition: Andre Gide, Harold Pinter, and Orson Welles have all tried their hand at Kafka’s labyrinthine masterpiece of paranoia and alienation. But Allen’s wiseass, rambunctious staging brings out one aspect of Kafka his much ballyhooed competitors forgot–his brilliantly funny dark comedy. […]

Posted inMusic

Critic’s Choice/ music

MAD PROFESSOR Today’s renewed interest in reggae is quite different from the first wave of mainstream curiosity nearly two decades ago. Then, Bob Marley’s pervasive spirituality and promarijuana proselytizing and the music’s feel-good sprawl endeared reggae to hippies and college freshmen everywhere. In the last few years, however, club culture has reframed reggae–particularly dub reggae–stripping […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dorchen Disinformation

I want to thank Jeff Dorchen, the Voice of the People, for revealing the perfidious and evil nature of Jack Helbig (Letters, October 11). Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I know the importance of unmasking and destroying antisocial elements. Mr. Dorchen’s denunciation rivals the best such articles from Pravda, both in structure and […]

Posted inMusic

Critic’s Choice/ music

STANLEY TURRENTINE QUINTET Listening to tenor saxophone perennial Stanley Turrentine, you can discover the secret of his success by focusing on the falsetto yelps that punctuate his bright, hard tone or on his smooth-as-suede, disarmingly facile improvisations. These stylistic trademarks represent Turrentine’s ability to fuse the rigors of 1950s hard bop–the idiom on which he […]

Posted inMusic

Rex

REX Rex drummer Doug Scharin used to play in a trio called Codeine that mastered the art of stasis. The group’s sorrowful melodies didn’t drift along so much as they hovered, while Scharin slowed time down to a crawl without ever missing a beat. Unfortunately, their sound became a straitjacket: they got better at their […]

Posted inNews & Politics

ADL Under Fire

To the editor: I am writing to express my thanks that Grant Pick’s article, “Fanning the Flames” [October 18] did not suggest that an international Islamic conspiracy lurked behind the acts of violence depicted in the story. On the other hand there wasn’t much to like in the article. Pick’s article rightfully expresses concern over […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories More anal-retentive suspects: In July in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Charinassa Fairley was charged with killing her husband after police found a checklist that included the notations “Make a prank call to him; offer food and love; make him take a bath with you. Put on gloves” and “Make love like never before for […]